I’ve been faced with a daunting realisation these last few days. Perhaps I’m not so average after all. I’m not better, nor am I worse, but I’m starting to realise that I’m probably just fundamentally different. This may sound like a romantic notion to some, but to me this is potentially life altering. The reason it has such an impact on me is because it calls to question every observation or piece of advice that I ever offered anyone. If my disposition and point of departure is so significantly different from most others, it means that my criticisms and insights are distinctly biased and potentially useless for most of the people that I ever engage with.
These are troubling thoughts for someone that has found much comfort in being able to offer advice to others so that they may avoid the mistakes that I’ve made. But this realisation now suggests that my mistakes are not likely to be repeated by others because I am not part of the normal crowd. I guess in many ways I’ve been resisting this realisation all my life. I’ve thought of myself as normal but different. Now I just think I’m different, and I’m not sure I grasp the concept of normal at all. I doubt I ever did.
My ability to detach my emotions from reason is a quirk not appreciated by most. It helps in times of crisis, but it causes me to look distinctly uninterested and often annoyed when others are freaking out while I fail to see a reason to freak out just yet. Given that most people don’t live in true crisis mode all the time, it makes this skill of mine somewhat tedious to deal with. And surrounding myself with people that are in fact living in crisis mode continually will just drain the last drop of optimism from my gut. So I guess I’m in limbo.
Silence is the only comfort I seem to enjoy these days. Everything else demands a presence of mind and a demand of my attention that has become quite an effort. I’m distracted most of the time with thoughts of…everything. What was, what is, what might be, what might not be, what could have been, what should have been, what I’m glad hasn’t been, and it goes on. It goes on painfully and tediously. But through it all I’ve managed to remain somewhat functional and able to offer some purpose in my presence. The more I experience, the more jaded is my response to life.
Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like? No, it can’t be. If it were, it would negate the realisation that prompted this post to begin with. I look at others my age and I struggle to relate to their frame of mind. In some ways I relate to the mind set of those 15 years my junior, but I find myself at odds with how they approach their sense of purpose in life. I’m disjointed from society, from the community, and often from my family. But I’ve been revelling in that disjointedness until now under the misconception of it having been a valuable skill that allowed me to view the world with a fresh perspective.
Who was I fooling all this time? I’m cynically jaded. There is no fresh perspectives for a jaded one. Suddenly Bohemian Rhapsody is mocking me.